WARRIORS 38, PORTERS 27
A night that brought about a lineman’s dream — not once, not twice, but three times — proved to be a nightmare for the struggling Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island football team.
If scoring a touchdown is supposed to be a lineman’s dream, two defensive linemen realized the same dream during Friday night’s Wyandanch-Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island game, and one lineman did so twice. A strange game was made even stranger by the fact that three fumbles were recovered and run back for touchdowns by defensive linemen in Wyandanch’s 38-27 win at Greenport High School’s Dorrie Jackson Memorial Field.
Daquan Brown, who played defensive tackle as well as guard for Wyandanch, collected two fumbles that he took in for touchdowns.
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” Wyandanch coach Ed Gay said. “I was enjoying every bit of it.”
Brown ripped the ball out of quarterback Eugene Allen’s hands and dashed 61 yards to the end zone, helping the Warriors (2-3 in Suffolk County Division IV) to a 16-0 lead with 30 seconds left in the first quarter. It was the first career touchdown for the senior. On his second touchdown, he took the ball from Frank Sierra before scooting 16 yards, making the score 32-12 with 7:58 remaining in the fourth quarter.
“It’s beautiful, just walking into the end zone,” Brown said. “Oh my gosh. I want to do it again. I want to do it again and again.”
Codey Fisher, a senior defensive end and right tackle for Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island, could relate to the excitement Brown must have felt. Fisher stole the ball from quarterback Marcus Gay and charged 56 yards for the Porters’ first points of the game with 3:46 left in the first half.
“It is freaky. I was shocked,” Fisher said. “I grabbed the ball, and at first I thought it was a dream because I was like, ‘This isn’t happening,’ and then I was like, ‘Oh my God, I just made a touchdown for the first time in my life.’ ”
It was a strange game in other ways, too. The Porters (0-5) committed six turnovers, including five on fumbles, yet somehow were in the game during the later stages. Allen’s one-yard touchdown run and John Drinkwater’s extra point cut Wyandanch’s lead to 32-27 with 2:10 left in the fourth quarter. But a 53-yard touchdown run by Wyandanch’s Matthew Rosa just 20 seconds later sealed the result.
Wyandanch paid a heavy price for the win, with two of its players being taken away in an ambulance after being injured on separate fourth-quarter plays. Damon Daniels, a kick return specialist and wide receiver, injured his neck, said Ed Gay. After being placed on a stretcher, Daniels held up his right arm with his forefinger pointing up triumphantly before being carried into an ambulance. Earlier in the game, on the first play of the third quarter, Daniels had returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. Another Wyandanch player injured his left shoulder, said Ed Gay. The identity of that player, who had been brought up recently from the junior varsity team, could not be ascertained. While that player was being attended to with 1:27 left on the game clock, officials put an early end to the game.
The result of the homecoming game marked the 10th straight loss for the Porters.
“It’s another one,” Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island coach Jack Martilotta said. “Last week was a game we definitely could have won, and this week was definitely a game we could have won.”
With 183 rushing yards from Sierra (one touchdown) and 102 from Allen, who ran for two touchdowns, the Porters generated 356 yards worth of offense and converted on eight of 13 third-down plays.
“I felt like we were moving the ball almost at will,” Martilotta said. “We were running all over the place.”
Meanwhile, the Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island defense forced four turnovers itself, including a pair of interceptions by Jack Volinski, one of which was a fine diving snatch on Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island’s own 3-yard line. Sal Loverde made 10 tackles.
Tevaun Carr was in on 11 tackles for Wyandanch.
The Porters’ problem could be described in one word: turnovers. Six turnovers were too much to overcome. Wyandanch scored 14 points off those turnovers. And yet, it could have been worse for Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island. Two Wyandanch touchdowns were nullified by penalties.
A 20-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-and-10 play from Gay to Justice Brughton opened the scoring. Wyandanch went on to take an 18-0 lead when the Porters recovered their own fumble in their end zone for a safety.
The Porters twice pulled to within six points after that, but weren’t able to prevent Wyandanch from winning back-to-back games for the first time since 2000.
“Everything just kind of came together,” Ed Gay said. “We knew we had the athletes.”
The Wyandanch coach said he expected his two injured players to be O.K. “We’re going to get banged up; it’s football,” he said. “Those guys, they were fighting. I mean, they were 0 and 4 and they were fighting. I got to give it to them.”
Turnovers had not been a major issue for the Porters. They had nine turnovers in their previous four games.
“You got to hold onto it,” Martilotta said. “We got in a hole early and we fought the whole game to get out of it. I [thought] that we were going to get out of it, but we just kept dropping that ball.”